Chasing an eternal love is never easy, but it is infinitely harder if your mom is standing in the way. In the adorable musical LOVESTRUCK, the lucky-in-love Mirabella (Sara Paxton) is bound and determined to pursue the life she chooses. The fact that she has fallen in love with an Italian playboy does not deter her one bit even as she is just days away from her dream nuptials. That is until fate intervenes and Mirabella’s mother discovers a unique way to try to push the wedding-train off track. Magic potions have a way of messing with one’s love life, but fortunately for Mirabella the stars may have aligned in her favor after all. In an exclusive interview, star Sara Paxton candidly shared what she loved about working on LOVESTRUCK and all those cool dance numbers.
What did you love about portraying Mirabella?
SARA: Definitely my favorite part about playing Mirabella was being able to be a part of the movie and dance and sing, sort of fulfilling my childhood musical dream. I grew up loving “Grease” and “West Side Story” and those kinds of movies, so that was definitely the best part of playing Mirabella.
If you could give Mirabella one piece of advice, what would it be?
SARA: The thing that I can relate to most with her is her relationship with her mother. She’s going to Italy to marry this Italian guy who is the love of her life and she gets mad at her mom and banes her from the wedding; and, of course, my mother (played by Jane Seymour) goes to the wedding anyway and tries to sabotage it and shenanigans ensue. So I can definitely relate to the mother/daughter aspect. So my advice would be: don’t not invite your mom to the wedding because she’s your mom and she’ll love you no matter what. But then there would be no movie. (Laughs)
What was it like working with Jane Seymour and Tom Wopat as Mirabella’s parents?
SARA: Tom is so funny. I had no idea how hysterical he would be. So he’s great and Jane is so wonderful. She is such a wonderful person. I mean, she has six kids and she is so maternal, especially to the girls. And she’s very impressive. I mean, I’m crying from all the dancing and whining, “I pulled a hamstring,” and Jane’s doing the splits and she’s like, “darling, you need to stretch more.” So, oh my god, she’s so impressive.
Those dance sequences were something else. Did you find them to be a challenge or were they just exciting to do?
SARA: They were definitely a challenge, but I was excited for the challenge. I wouldn’t have signed up for it if I didn’t want to work hard like that. But it was definitely different. I grew up dancing, but not like that in a professional kind of way. So it was fun, but it was hard.
Did you have a favorite dance scene from the film?
SARA: My favorite scene and number was the finale where most of the cast members are in it and it’s too “Everlasting Love.” It was amazing. There were 25 dancers, all choreographed, and it like a 5-minute dance number as we’re all singing. It was so much fun to do. I think it will really translate on screen with people dancing and singing along with it.
Did you have a difficult time keep the characters straight ‘cause you had different actors playing the same character at different times?
SARA: (Laughs) No. It would be funny when we’d shoot and I’d be working with both Jane and Chelsea and they would both be turned around at craft services and Jane would be wearing the wig and I’d be like, “Uhhhh . . .” ‘Cause Jane has the body of a 20-year old, so I’d be like, “Who is it?” But other than that, I didn’t get them confused.
It looked like a lot of those scenes were really a lot of fun to do. Like you couldn’t keep a straight face. Were there any scenes where you had to say to yourself, “Okay, we’ve got to focus here.” I’ve got to stop laughing.”
SARA: Yeah. We’re dancing and we’re singing and there’s a part in “Like a Virgin” where we’re singing that song at my character’s bachelorette party and it was really hard to keep a straight face. We were drinking champagne in the scene (obviously, not for real, but we’re fake drinking champagne), and as the song progresses we get more and more crazy, like pretty soon my character is dancing on the table and falling over as we’re singing the song. Like fake chugging champagne. So it was really hard to keep a straight face for that. It was also very serious ‘cause there were 20 dancers and I didn’t want to be the one person to mess up and we’d have to do it all over again.
Did you also have some say into the wedding dress that you wear in LOVESTRUCK? It turned out so beautifully.
SARA: I know! That dress was so beautiful. When I went in for the wedding dress fitting, it was kind of surreal. I was like, “I’ve never been in this situation before.” So I was sending all these photos to my mom and she was like, “I’m getting teary-eyed.” The dress was so, so beautiful. But it was kind of hard to dance in it, but I managed. I didn’t think about it when I tried it on. I was just thinking how pretty it was and that it was gorgeous. But then I was like, “I can’t move my legs. Help!”
To see Sara in her “lovestruck” role as Mirabella pursuing a life of happily-ever-afters, be sure to tune in for the premiere of LOVESTRUCK on Sunday, April 21st at 8:00 p.m. on ABC Family Channel.
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